All virtues find expression in women: Manipur Guv

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Imphal, March 8: The best of human virtues, including love, care, compassion, tolerance, concern and forgiveness have found expression in one individual ‘Woman,’ said Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla.
Speaking on the occasion of the International Women’s Day at Raj Bhawan here, the Governor said, ”Over the decades, the objective of Women’s Day celebration has evolved and embraced culture and ethnicity to emerge as a celebration of appreciation, respect and love towards women. ”Women’s Day is also celebrated in schools nowadays and also forms an integral part of the curriculum to disseminate the awareness of women empowerment, their roles and achievements,” she added. The Governor said that this year, the IWD comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo and #TimesUp in the United States of America and their counterparts of other countries, on issues ranging from sexual harassment and femicide to equal pay and women’s political representation.
She appealed to all to join together to translate the momentum into action, empower women in all settings, rural and urban and celebrate the activists, who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realise their full potential. She said there was need to build a healthy society, remove age-old gender biases in educational, health, social, legal and economic sectors, adding that women must be recognised and accepted as an independent social actor.
According to Dr Heptulla, it is a sad narrative that the role of women in the household and family care is often taken for granted without commensurate social recognition. There is a tendency to undermine women as an independent player in economic, political or social sectors. These attitudes stem from the traditional stereotypes and even in democratic societies, women still suffer from the historical drawbacks. It is important that special provisions are made for the economic empowerment of women, along with their political empowerment, in order to enable them to use new opportunities in today’s world, said the Governor. History has been unkind to women and religions and traditions have been manipulated to subvert the society by excluding women, she added.
Dr Heptulla said empowering women in India is important to ensure a level playing field and for this, gender equality is the first step. There should be an affirmative perception that a woman is no less than a man in carrying out their responsibilities. ”Our Indian women should identify their strengths and abilities and move towards a world of empowerment. The first lesson that all of us learn start only at home and the rest follows with the kind of attitude we have got instilled in us.
”We can start with the empowerment right at home, you don’t need to learn a lesson for it. For instance, we can encourage the ladies at our home, our mothers, sisters and wives to pursue their dreams and excel in their career. ”A wholehearted support, be it, however, trivial, will boost their self-confidence and will have a transforming impact on the women’s way of life. It is a healthy development that Indian women are emerging in more and more number in every sphere of public life. They are asserting their rights and taking challenges in their stride,” she added.
Dr Heptulla said women in Manipur, as in some other north-eastern states, are traditionally better placed in the social rung than their counterparts in other parts of the country. They have grown up in a more liberal society, facing less hostile challenges unlike in a male dominant environment. They have had more economic independence, even supporting the family without help from the male members. Ima Keithel is a glaring example of the economic independence of women in Manipur, she added.
The Governor said she is taking initiatives for making the women sufficiently skilled, for earning a certain quantum of economic independence. Nemcha Kipgen, Minister of Social Welfare and Co-operation, apart from leaders of various women organisations, were also present on the occasion. (Agencies)